There’s nothing magical about a new year, but it sure does provide fresh opportunities for a clean slate and a lot of grace for any do-overs. And while it may not be magical, sometimes the excitement and motivation that comes with it makes it feel like it is. So we say, why not take advantage of that for your marriage?
I’m sure you’ve heard it said that the days go by slow, but the years pass by quickly. There’s a lot of truth to that. You can get so caught up in the mundane of daily life, or with constantly putting out fires and running from one thing to the next, that before you know it—whoops, there went another year!
The last thing you want to do is be unintentional with your marriage. It requires work and attention, and without it, you’d be surprised how quickly that once burning flame romance you had, can turn into a fizzle fest.
Steps to Having the Best New Year Together
- Take a look back. Yep, that’s right. Before you move ahead, it’s important to look back and ask these questions:
- What worked for us last year?
- What didn’t work?
- What brought joy? What brought stress?
- Did we accomplish what we set out to do? What kept us from or helped us achieve our goals and priorities?
The answers to these questions will provide a nice foundation to launch into a new year with. It’s a waste of time to focus on things that didn’t work or things that just brought stress. A year in review allows you to eliminate or tweak whatever you need to.
- Decide to fix what is broken. Now that you know the things that may have held you back, it’s time to make some adjustments. Everything you identified as not working, it’s now time to plan to fix them. In addition to fixing the things that kept you from your goals, plan to fix ALL that may be broken in your marriage, like,
- Your communication
- Your sex life
- Your stress levels
- Your emotional connectedness
How are these things going for you? Decide to not settle for mediocrity or pain this year. If it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work on your marriage. Let this be the year that you do it. Don’t be like the average couple that struggles for 6 years before they decide to get help.
- Make a daily routine to connect. There are 4 sweet spots during each day that you can pause and take a few moments to connect; when you wake up when you leave one another for the day when you return and see one another again, and then at bedtime. Take advantage of these brief moments to whisper a quick prayer, connect over a cup of coffee, or greet one another with a big hug. Those small moments together can pay big dividends.
- Have more fun. Laughter is such a necessary thing for any marriage. It has so many benefits for your relationship as well as for you both as individuals. Go back to the times when you used to date a lot and re-do those things, play around, or just connect over a game or a funny movie. Find a new hobby together or pick up a new activity that provides some fun. Friendship is a must for a happy marriage.
You may not be able to control everything that happens this upcoming year, but the choices you make sure will influence how good your year is. When you’re connected and thriving as a couple and the hard times come, you’ll be so much better equipped to handle them. Whatever the new year holds, decide to face it together!
Happy New Year!
This is an updated edition of a post originally published on Expedition Marriage